um…disturbing?

apparently, now we are using rape to sell products:

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9 thoughts on “um…disturbing?

  1. Sarah Canavan says:

    I’m not exactly sure how to comment on this… Although, I have to say I’m not all that surprised. I know many of the people who follow this blog are avid watchers of Law and Order SVU, a TV show that’s all about sexual violence. Can we really say that every person who watches it is watching because they use the show to shed light on important issues? Or are some of the viewers watching because sex and violence sells. I don’t know how else to put it.

    Think about how many books are sold each year by authors like James Patterson. His covers are always elusive pictures of naked women being watched by a man with a knife or something of the sort. Sex and violence sells.

    I’m not exactly sure if we can really label this ad “rape” because no rape was actually occurring (although the lumberjack certainly was creeeeeepy and intentions were implied) but you could also argue the protection side of it. The man who smells nice will be better able to protect a woman from a horny lumberjack… I know it’s a stretch. But the point is, any way you spin it, the woman is a VICTIM. It’s not that if the man smells good she’ll be all over him, although that probably would be a more effective commercial, honestly. What guy wants to buy a deodorant that will get a naked woman …. to snuggle with him? I’m pretty sure that’s not the ultimate goal of a bonfire beach party… So, they have successfully driven away the bachelor demographic. Bachelors buy their own deodorant. Know who doesn’t buy their own deodorant? Married men. The wives–or whoever does the shopping, which is usually the wives–do. You can bet NO women will be buying this product. So, they have successfully driven away the married demographic. Who is left?

    Bottom line, the commercial is inappropraite, and I would bet it’s not effective either. Good job, Axe. FAIL.

  2. Allison May says:

    I must say that is certainly an odd commercial. I agree with Sarah…this woman is most certainly a victim. But isn’t this the case in almost every Axe commercial? Sure, it appears that the men in Axe commercials are “victims” to the women who pounce upon them by the hundreds. But what message are you trying to broadcast to the young preteen boys purchasing your product, Axe? That girls won’t be able to resist their bodily scent and do wildly inappropriate things to get that particular young man’s attention? That’s where I think the biggest issue lies with this particular commercial. This commercial says to these boys, “hey, it’s okay to remove a girl’s clothes and creep on her while she’s sleeping. She’ll love it, just because you smell good”. I’ve always had a problem with the way Axe portrays its brand. With names like “Heat”, “Hot Fever”, “Boost” and “Pulse”, it doesn’t get much more sexual than that. But oh, wait- yes it does! When researching for this post, look at the quote I found on the Axe website. For an ad campaign selling a new brand of Axe hair goo, it says, “Get some HAIR ACTION! When a girl moves in close, inhales deeply and can’t resist playing with her guy’s hair, that’s hair action. Girls like giving it…and it’s best when it leads to something more.”

    REALLY!?! Wow. I am not even sure what to say about that. What EXACTLY are you trying to say Axe? Just look at the message you are sending to the younger generation! Why can’t your ad campaign simply say, “you smell. you need this”. Makes perfect sense and gets straight to the point.

  3. Amaury Ramirez says:

    The commercial isn’t good. Now that my opinion is out there, lets get to the meaty stuff.

    This commercial, as many commercials, is using sex to sell a product. Axe is a body spray which gives the user a “good” smell. This heterosexual targeted commercial is just like many other commercials here in the states. Think about the washing balls one? way more inappropriate.

    Rape is such a strong word and I think it is misused with this commercial. The lumberjack is trying to prove a point. Essentially saying that because he doesn’t smell like axe, he is in the friend zone. It is obvious that he likes the girl, or else he wouldn’t be covering her. Do you see how eager to put the body spray on once the lumber jack gives it to him? At the end of the commercial, in spanish, the narrator says ” get out the friend zone and have her see you as a man.”

    Personally I don’t like the commercial, but i don’t agree with Sarah as it being a fail. The commercial wouldn’t discourage married women from buying the products for their husband because if they were going to buy it, then it is because the husband requested it because the target of axe is teenagers to young adults. Therefore I think the commercial is genius. How many young boys are in the friend zone with their crush? Just saying.

    • Ryan Waffle says:

      Spot on Amaury. I completely agree with you on this one. First of all, the commercial just isn’t good in general. The whole lumberjack thing just doesn’t work with Axe, and their commercials are starting to be bad (if they were ever even good).
      From my perspective, I think the talk of rape, dominance, and whatnot is going a bit too far. When I saw the commercial, the first thing I thought was “The lumberjack is trying to tell the kid to stop being a wimp and make a move.” So he gives him some Axe and he smells good, which by Axe’s standard, means he will get the girl. I think calling rape on this commercial is definitely going too far. The line at the end, “stop being a friend, start being a man…new Axe Ex-Friend…Less female friends, more women.”, to me, is not implying dominance or rape, but addressing the “friend zone”, something that is an area sometimes men don’t want to be in.
      In this regard, I agree with Amaury that its an effective commercial for single men, which is obviously their demographic, hence the masculine lumberjack and attractive woman. I would have a hard time believing this would have a negative effect on the sales of Axe products too. It won’t hurt the married male demographic, as Sarah suggested (which was slightly sexist I might add), because married men do actually shop for things. It won’t hurt the single male demographic because it targets the single male and his friend ‘crush’. But, regardless, its still a stupid commercial. Regardless, Axe still should take better care of what they put in their ads so we don’t need to have this discussion.

  4. Merrill Amos says:

    Ok so…I guess I’ll start off by pointing out that the translation of the slogan on the last scene of the commercial is “Less Friends, More Women,” and with the translation help of my Spanish-speaking friends, (thanks Gabby and Jose) the narrator at the end says “stop being a friend, start being a man…new Axe Ex-Friend…Less female friends, more women.” This is implying that the man in the commercial needs to be more of a man and take what he wants. You see this creepy-ass lumber jack (hyper-masculine) who comes in grunting and criticizing this guy for covering up the girl (being a friend.) As soon as the Axe is sprayed, the blanket is ripped off by some outside force, and she then nestles up even closer to the guy…hand basically going for the crotch-grab. I agree with what Sarah said about the woman being portrayed as a victim, and to take that one step further, she also loses all apparent control (over being covered by the blanket AND the fact that she mysteriously now has the urge to embrace this guy’s leg.)
    We see sexuality, masculinity, and dominance at play here…portraying that a man isn’t masculine if he’s not dominating (causing a forfeiture of the woman’s ability to control herself)…and he in turn is not getting any sex if he’s not dominating. Through this analogy, then, if a man is not being masculine then he is not getting any sex. And Axe can help you be masculine, duh. You can thank them later, I’m sure.

  5. Erin Meehan says:

    I have to agree with the other young ladies who have commented on this blog, this commercial is disgusting. Yesterday in my Making Connections course we were discussing gender specifically in terms of porn. Professor EW showed us a very interesting powerpoint on porn and general images of sexuality present in our culture. We gathered in a circle to view the images and all had very heated and opposing arguments to objectification of women in porn or sexual images. It was a great class. What I would like to share though, is a link to a video documentary done by PBS a few years back called American Porn. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/porn/
    If you click on the “watch full program” box to the right it will bring you to different areas parts of the video. Video #5 entitled “A Demand Driven Business” is extremely disturbing. A female director is shown creating a film in which one her best friends will be starring. The company’s goal is to push the limits of acceptable porn in the industry. The particular story line is of a woman being kidnapped beaten, raped, and then killed. The actress in the video had no idea this would happen. I would like to point out she was not really killed, but the director admits that she was physically abused, and did not know this would be happening when she signed up for the shoot.

    WOW is all I have to say. Before watching this I never cared to much for porn or what it meant in terms of objectifying women. I just saw it as healthy and some what humorous sexual past-time. Now I do not know what to think. I feel my entire class reacted the same way in which I did, we were silent. No one could speak. I felt sick to my stomach and my Professor even suggested that if anyone was disturbed by this he was available to talk. I wonder here if we are constantly pushing the limits of sexual and sexual violence in the media will or when it ever stop. Will there come a time when porn or rape is present on TV shows everywhere not just HBO etc. There is no doubt that over the past decade the nudity that is present on television and in movies has grown and expanded greatly. When will it stop? Will it ever stop?

    Furthermore, what I find most disturbing is that the producers of this video believe people will be sexually excited by watching a woman beaten, raped and killed. How perverted are as a nation becoming? Is rape becoming not only accepted by society but embraced? It seems this way in the video. People are in fact making money off of what some and I believe to be the worst form of abuse any human being can experience. I feel as though here we have pushed the boundary so much that we have in fact hit a wall, I do not believe it can go any further than this in some respects. It makes me worried for my and my peers safety.

    *I am not sure if it is legal for me to post this website/video so Michele if you could just check and make sure before you upload it to the blog that would be great!

  6. Gian Contro says:

    This commercial just another cheesy way for Axe to try and make young men think that the body spray is going to get them laid. Really Axe smells like shit and gives most guys headaches. In reality if the lady wants to make advancements with the guy she is going to and applying Axe is not going to speed up the process any quicker. Moving on the the guy with the coveralls who keeps taking the blanket off of her and the kid keeps putting it back on her does seem messed up. First off the girl is trying to sleep its not like shes awake for all of this. Secondly the kid is trying to be polite but coveralls is being a pervert. Why does Axe have to advertise in this manner? The commercial is more perverted than anything. Maybe to get the point across better the kid could come out of the ocean and they spray Axe so he doesnt smell like salt water and then she might take a liking to him. Rather than he needs to spray that on to get the cover off of her.

  7. Chryssy Abdool says:

    Weird Commercial to begin with! Axe is always known for selling their product using sex. Then again which company isn’t? They always use a man that is trying to attract a woman. Why not attract another man? Is that not okay in society? This commercial is not okay! I don’t think this commercial is about rape, I mean I get the idea of how people would come up with the word rape. But rape is such a strong word that I don’t think can be used in this commercial.

    The lumber jack man in my opinion is trying to show the guy that you have a female right next to you that is wearing a bathing suit, how can you just cover her up and let her go to sleep? I guess the lumber jack man is trying to prove a point to him and let him know that he needs to change his act quick if he wants to get with this girl.

    Which is why the lumber jack man throws him over a bottle of Axe, so he then can develop the courage to finally make a move to the female he likes. I think this commercial is just trying to show a shy guy becoming brave. In this society it is always seems as when a man and women like each other or just have an interest in one another the guy is always the one who is expected to make the first move. This is why I say that the lumber jack man is just trying to help him build up enough courage because in this society that is just what the men are suppose to do, make the first move.

  8. Yuliana Baez says:

    I agree with Amaury. I really dislike his commercial. I think it was a bad attempt to sell the product. Even though I am sure that many have bought it.

    What I got from this commercial was that the guy had a crush on the girl. He did not know how to make the move. The lumberjack guy told him if he uses the axe spray the girl will like him. It was pretty much if he uses the axe it boosts his confidence and makes him more appealing to the girl. When the guy sprayed the axe and they zoomed in it showed his bare body. This inferred that items of clothing would be taken off because he uses this axe. As for the translation of what it said it’s basically you won’t be a friend you would have a lot of women. Everything about this commercial is WRONG.

    I wouldn’t say that it is rape because there isn’t any rape physically happening. Overall I think we cannot control anymore sex in the media because as people say “Sex sells”

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